'Librarian By Day' blogger Bobby Newmann from Chattahoochee Valley started the Library Day in the Life project. Great idea. So, what do I actually do a typical day? Here an example fromFriday, August 21st:
8:30am Reviewing and - no surprise - deleting emails. Most pressing for me at the moment is the preparation of the itinerary for our Librarian in Residence Jan-Pieter Barbian from Duisburg, who arrives in New York on September 16th. Just another 3.5 weeks! Although I've already lined up a number of appointments, there are inevitably always changes. Fred Gitner of the Queens Public Library got in touch (just in time before he left for IFLA in Milan) and we finalized an appointment with Jim Neal at Columbia University. That's two more steps in the right direction...
9:30am A quick meeting with my colleague Katherine Lorimer. We're in the final planning stages for implementing an automated circulation system (that we don't already have such a system is probably something that I shouldn't admit, given many people read this blog...). And the data conversion from OCLC into the Südwestverbund (South West German Library Consortium) - a necessary step towards automation - isn't exactly going smoothly. We agree to a timeline for completion of the project, as it should be done by the time we move into our new, temporary quarters. As soon as (possibly) November, the library will be found at 72 Spring Street, 11th floor, in the heart of SoHo. Plus: Starbucks two doors down. Minus: no more Metropolitan Museum across the street.
10:00am Now we're really getting going: a meeting with all departmental heads to discuss the regional budget. The Goethe-Institut New York is regional head office and therefore responsible for the distribution of money from Canada to Mexico. Who's getting what? No comment... The meeting is adjourned after 3 hours so that our administration can get a handle on all the numbers that were thrown around the room.
The next item on the agenda should have been lunch, but that falls by the wayside as we discuss plans for our new office. The architect for Spring Street is coming on Monday and we need to at the very least have a rough idea of what we want to tell him.
2:00pm A visit to the French Institute/Alliance Francaise. Yann Carmona and I are momentarily still in charge of the European Book Club. Collaborative work with our European partners is always alot of fun, even though it can sometimes be quite stressful. Everyone in New York is always SO BUSY, that every workgroup ideally requires at least one member who keeps the group in line. We talk about what needs to be done next. I suggest we look for a volunteer to help maintain the website (anyone?).
4:30pm Back at the Goethe-Institut (I noticed lots of summer sale signs in Madison Avenue storefronts from the bus - hmm, something for the weekend, perhaps?) and back to the budget. In the meantime, our administration has put things in order and now we can look over the numbers together. It actually does not look that bad. Then it's back to discussing the architect's plan for the new office. It's a pretty radical departure from what we're used to - a plan that everyone will have to accept before we can really start discussing it in earnest. To date we've all been in individual offices spread across 6 floors. In the future we'll all be sharing one big open room. And why not keep it as open as possible? That the library occupies a prominent place in the center of the room is a highlight of the plan. Exactly as I'd hoped it would be - super!
Wow, it's already 7:00pm! That's really enough for one day. It's off to the Metropolitan Museum to catch the Afghanistan: The Hidden Treasures of the National Museum, Kabul exhibition. I really can recommend this great exhibition to anyone who will be in New York between now and September 20th!